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AMT 1927 Ford Model T Police Car

Build review of this 1/25 scale vintage police mobile with multipart engine and chassis
Kit No.: AMT1182
Scale: 1/25
Mfr.: Round 2,
Price: $27.99
Comments: 93 injection-molded parts (white, clear, chrome plated); four vinyl tires; decals
Pros: Multipart engine and chassis; general ease of assembly
Cons: Minor fit problems
AMT’s ’27 Model T has been through a bunch of versions since it was released in 1964. This police car variant was first introduced in 1972 and was one of AMT’s most detailed kits with a multipart engine, suspension, and interior. It’s still a nice kit and fits together well overall. Along with the car itself, modelers also get a wealth of period police details. The hot-rod engine upgrade with Frontenac twin-cam cylinder head and chrome exhaust is still included and referred to as the “police pursuit engine.” Earlier versions also included chromed wheels and custom tires for a hot-rod version, but those have been omitted in this release. 

I wanted to build a model that was period-correct, so I dug out a copy of Monty McCord’s Police Cars: A Photographic History (Motorbooks Intl., 1991), and I looked through the 1920s section for photos of Model T police cars. Most were plain with only basic markings and little extra equipment. I’ve known Monty for many years and asked him what other equipment might have been used. His suggestion was “a spotlight as big as a headlight,” so that’s how I did mine. 

I thinned the wheel spokes to make them more rounded. As is, they’re heavy and look out of scale. I scraped the spoke edges with hobby knife and refined with a sanding stick. At this point, the wheels were fragile, so I glued the halves together for more strength. To help the tires slip on the wheels, first soak them in warm water to soften the vinyl. 

I did have a couple of fit issues: The steering column requires patience to get through the firewall and down to the front axle. Also, the top needs a lot of test-fitting to get a better joint with the back of the interior. Even then, I still wound up with some gaps. Otherwise, the model assembles easily. 

The police accessories include two spotlights, a two-piece siren, night sticks, a couple of Keystone Cops police hats, a flashlight, a sawed-off shotgun, and a chromed side mirror. This version of the kit also includes a pair of side curtains for cold weather. Molded in clear, they can be painted as shown on the box art. Most photos of Model T police cars that I found did not include such a feature. I also removed the bumper brackets, again because few photos showed Model Ts with bumpers. 

AMT continues to provide some great decals, and this kit contains several different styles of police markings, along with some vintage license plates. This kit offers an historic and unusual addition to a police car model collection. It’s a neat kit and well worth your time. 

Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2020 issue.


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